No going back on FOREX policy, says CBN

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said that it will not reverse its
foreign exchange policy depite the pressure and continuous attacks by
“unpatriotic elements”.

The apex bank made this known in a statement signed by Isaac Okorafor,
CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, on Friday.

The CBN, the statement said, has been the subject of continued attack
on its policies by a group of Nigerians, whose real interests are

“Intelligence reports at the disposal of the Bank reveal the
involvement of some unpatriotic elements funding the push to have the
CBN and the Federal Government reverse its FOREX policy, which is
aimed at conserving foreign exchange, stimulating agriculture and
manufacturing and also promoting exports,” the statement said.

“While we respect the rights of every Nigerian or stakeholder to their
respective views, we find it curious that certain interests have
remained persistent in their move to misinform the larger public, with
the intention of discrediting genuine efforts at managing the economy,
thereby creating public distrust and panic within the financial

“Indeed, self-centered individuals, who have failed to assail our
patriotic position, have resorted to the sponsorship of serial
propaganda to misinform and mislead the public on the objectives of
our policies.”

The apex bank said that the present economic challenges that the
nation faces have been worsened by past practice of frittering away
huge earnings made from oil sales.

The statement added that the CBN’s decisions on FOREX
management are prompted by the challenge posed by the level of
depletion of the country’s reserves, arising from issues such as a
drastic reduction in oil earnings, speculative attacks and round

“It is pertinent to note that pressures on the country’s foreign
reserves have persisted due to a huge fall in the monthly foreign
earnings, which fell from over US $3.2 billion sometime in 2013 to
below $500 million per month sometime in 2016, when the demand for the
US dollar, particularly by importers, continued to rise considerably.

“In spite of the challenges and the basic economic fact that countries
earn dollars from international trade, we have ensured we meet the
genuine demand of importers to pay for eligible imports and other
transactions within available resources,” the statement said.

The CBN however said that it had continued to ensure that there is
liquidity and transparency in the FOREX market, noting that it will
continue to intervene in critical sectors of the economy.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
continues to ensure that inflation remains within manageable limits;
intervene in critical sectors of the economy, through injection of
much-needed capital to promote growth and employment; promote
export-driven industrialisation; provide access to credit to farmers
and small scale entrepreneurs at single digit rates, to create wealth;
protect the interest of Bank customers in Nigeria; and above all,
ensure that the masses of our country’s low income earners are
protected from the vagaries of high naira depreciation.”

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